Have you seen Jeni's tutorial for drawstring bags? If you are an avid blog reader or Flick user, you've probably seen versions all over the interwebs. And I am here to add to it! Jeni also offers a pattern to purchase with 7 different sizes and a formula for creating custom-sized bags.
The tutorial for one size is free on her blog. More enterprising folks who want to do more math could probably figure out how to enlarge and reduce the pattern, but I wanted to help a sister out (Jeni offers a lot of free content and lovely photos, which takes a lot of time!), so I bought the pattern. I've already made six bags of three different sizes and I feel that pattern has more than paid for itself.
I'm the annoying aunt that gives books at Christmas and birthdays :) Well, until you are a teenager. Then you get a giftcard because I know that's what you really truly want - freedom to choose your own things. But the babies and the 9-year-old get books. And what better wrapping paper than these cute bags! The bags above are two "Project Bags" and one "Artist Bag" (the robot one). (Wow, do I tie terrible bows!) To give you an idea, the green/yellow/purple grass bag has three paperback chapter books and one Diary of a Wimpy Kid hardcover. I think I fit five or six board books into a different Project Bag.
The Artist Bag (iron included for size reference) holds larger picture books that wouldn't fit in the Project Bag. Actually, I think the bag in the photo is tilted a little, so it is taller than it appears here. You could probably fit three irons into this bag!
I took this as an opportunity to use up some fabric that I thought I probably wouldn't use in quilts. They were either impulse buys or parts of assortment sets. They are still lovely; I just don't see them in any quilts I have planned right now. This is a great green alternative to wrapping paper, though if you are wrapping presents for lots of people, I can see how this would be a challenge :) But like any other gift bag, it has a lot of re-use/recycle/re-gift potential! Unlike another gift bag, it probably won't tear in the present melee come Christmas day! (And since I didn't use traditional Christmas fabrics, they aren't holiday/occasion-specific!)
You can use ribbon for the ties, but I really like the fabric pulls. I have this handy-dandy 1" bias tape maker that makes the process go pretty smoothly. The only thing is, my machine doesn't like to run over the bulk at the beginning of the tie (where the edge is folded over), but it's no big thang. Still looks cute.
This is the largest size - the Laundry Bag. I have a sweatshirt and a long-sleeved t-shirt in there and it's still pretty roomy. I think I could have gotten away with an Artist Bag here, but I'm happy I got to try out another size.
I am giving a number of Wii games - no, not to the kids - to my parents! So, I'll be making several of the DVD sized bags and a couple of the smallest bags for giftcards, as well. Just have to determine which size would be right for two Wii wheels...
Make this pattern! You will love it!